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Microfoundations of Two-sided Markets: The Payment Card Example

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  • James McAndrews
  • Zhu Wang

Abstract

This paper provides a theory of two-sided market dynamics with arguably better microfoundations. These alternative microfoundations focus on observable heterogeneities of both sides of the market in a competitive framework. The theory is rich in empirical predictions and is less dependent on a particular form of imperfect competition than other approaches. Our findings in the payment card example point to adoption costs and the distribution of consumer incomes and firm sizes as the key determinants of the shares of costs borne by each side. This result provides clear implications for industry dynamics and sheds light on the puzzle of asymmetric pricing.

Suggested Citation

  • James McAndrews & Zhu Wang, 2007. "Microfoundations of Two-sided Markets: The Payment Card Example," DNB Working Papers 128, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:128
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2008. "Economics of payment cards: a status report," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 15-27.
    2. Wilko Bolt & Sujit Chakravorti, 2008. "Consumer choice and merchant acceptance of payment media," Working Paper Series WP-08-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    3. Bolt, Wilko & Schmiedel, Heiko, 2009. "SEPA, efficiency, and payment card competition," Working Paper Series 1140, European Central Bank.
    4. Antoine Martin & Michael Orlando, 2007. "Barriers to network-specific investment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(4), pages 705-728, October.
    5. Krueger, Malte, 2009. "The Pricing of Payments," MPRA Paper 24759, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Fumiko Hayashi, 2008. "The economics of payment card fee structure: what drives payment card rewards?," Research Working Paper RWP 08-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    7. Fumiko Hayashi, 2008. "The economics of payment card fee structure: what is the optimal balance between merchant fee and payment card rewards?," Research Working Paper RWP 08-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    8. Fumiko Hayashi, 2008. "The economics of payment card fee structure: policy considerations of payment card rewards," Research Working Paper RWP 08-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    9. Zhu Wang, 2008. "Market structure and credit card pricing: what drives the interchange?," Payments System Research Working Paper PSR WP 06-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Technology Adoption; Two-sided Market; Asymmetric Pricing;

    JEL classification:

    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • D40 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - General
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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